An animal-loving assemblywoman wants to rein in rodeos.
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) is pitching a bill that would ban in the Empire State techniques used in rodeo competitions, such as calf roping and the use of electric cattle prods and sharpened spurs.
“Rodeos are modern day gladiator games – blood sport masquerading as entertainment,” Rosenthal said. “Make no mistake about it: Bull riding and other rodeo events are not family-friendly entertainment.”
The lawmaker and animal advocates are also calling on Madison Square Garden to cancel an upcoming rodeo event scheduled for June.
The “World’s Most Famous Arena,” in partnership with the Cowboy Channel, is hosting a three-day competition featuring bull riding and calf roping dubbed Rodeo New York.
MSG is marketing the event as the first rodeo to be held in the arena in 30 years, although the complex hosts a professional bull riding championship each January. The Father’s Day competition will feature more than 60 rodeo athletes competing for up to $1 million in prize money, according to the arena’s website.
“It is shocking that MSG would host this brutality,” Rosenthal said. “It is deeply disturbing that a private company which receives a multi-million-dollar property tax abatement each year — $42 million last year alone — is hosting an event that violates the spirit of our State’s animal cruelty laws.”
A representative for MSG directed media inquiries to the organizers of the rodeo, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Animal rights groups such as New Yorkers for Clean, Liveable Streets, Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, the Red Robin Song Animal Sanctuary, Horseracing Wrongs and the Animal Cruelty Exposure Fund joined in calling for the event’s cancellation.RELATED GALLERY
(Craig Warga/New York Daily News)1 / 12
Rodeo comes to the big city
But upstate businesses that rely on rodeos to draw crowds called the Rosenthal’s bill bull.
Cindy Martin, the manager of Double M Western, a store and rodeo located in Ballston Spa, near Saratoga, said the proposed regulations would do serious damage.
“It’s definitely going to impact a lot of businesses because there are a lot of places in the area that have rodeos,” Martin told the Daily News. “Whether it be at fairs, local fairs hire us to do fairs, or others who have weekly events throughout the summer.”
The Double M Western doesn’t offer calf roping as part of its shows or competitions and they don’t condone the use of cattle prods, which Martin said are frowned upon by most rodeo associations. She also argued that the spurs used in bull riding are not capable of harming the animals.
“The bull riding is just misinformed,” she said. “The riders don’t wear spurs that cause harm to the animals. They’re no different to the spurs people wear on horses.”
Read the original article by Denis Slattery at nydailynews.com here.